Properties Magazine December 2012 : Page 70

When Was Your Lightning Protection System Last Inspected? Proactive maintenance program key to preventing lightning from damaging property he rooftop is a foreign place to most building owners and management, so they rely on build-ing maintenance staff to make sure all the systems on the roof get routine maintenance,” says Brian Winovich, general manager of Western Reserve Lightning Rod Co. “Lightning protection is no different.” “T Lightning protection systems are built with quality materials and are meant to stand the test of time but unforeseen circumstances can sometimes disable a system, he says. “This summer, for example, on a routine inspection we found that a client’s window-wash-ing company had completely dismantled their lightning pro-tection system on more than one building, rendering the systems completely useless. Our customer was understandably unnerved.” With that in mind, Winovich recommends regular inspec-tions of the lightning protection system every five years and also every time a significant construc-tion project is conducted on the roof. Routine checks of the roof’s perimeter for obvious signs of disrepair – such as cut or loose cables, and broken or failing materials – are advised. Also, look to see if the lightning protection system has been extended to any new building additions and make sure all new HVAC equipment has lightning protection installed. Tower have been hit hundreds of times over the years, as have mountaintops and radio-televi-sion antennas,” he says. “If the circumstances causing one light-ning strike remain in effect, then the laws of nature will encourage lightning strikes to continue to be more prevalent there. After all, that is the reason that building codes require lightning protection systems on many public buildings, such as schools and hospitals, in many parts of the country. If you have been struck before, all things remaining the same, there is a good chance you will be struck again.” Saving sensitive technology “If you haven’t had your system inspected by a professional for over five years, you should schedule one right away,” he says. Proper grounding and surge suppression are an integral part of a complete lightning protection system, Winovich says, noting that Western Reserve Lightning Rod Co. can consult with a building owner on a wide range of surge protection devices that help to protect critical data systems, cameras and personal property. “As our society becomes increasingly technological with more computers and Second strikes “Lightning never strikes the same place twice,” they say – that’s simply not true, according to Winovich. “In reality, field testing has shown the Empire State Building and the Sears 70 3URSHUWLHV | December 2012

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